Stuck between old school and no school.
This is the third opus of Desolate Shrine a band that I admire. I really do.
But this time around, they got me stuck. For The Heart of the Netherworld is not a bad album, but it has a feature that should be avoided nowadays: long songs in a simple death metal skeleton.
I mean, the songs are dark, cold, heavy and all the jazz… the problem is that their old school sound with a modern “wall-of-noise” production is not enough to fill songs as long as 14 minutes long.
If their sound is good for what it is, if the compositions are cool, they are not exceptional musicians, and this time around they embarked in an ego trip of gargantuan proportions.
For example, there is a 4-minute intro, and just then the death metal starts to roll, in the form of Black Fires of God, which clocks in at 7 minutes, but it’s a mid-tempo song, with some macabre and noir parts in their metal, but not suffice to keep ones attention.
The song that takes the name from the band, Desolate Shrine follows suit. Syncopated drumming all around, repetitive phrases, same tempo all the time, although they dare to change the time signatures here and there. But is really necessary that the song (to) be 10-minute-long? I don’t think so. The thing goes on and on and it never ends…
Well, the same goes to the other tracks insofar as I’m damned to commit the same mistake as they did by prolong this review with fillers, just as they do.
It would be a masterpiece if it was shorter. Unfortunately they misfired.
The Heart of the Netherworld is out now on Dark Descent Records.
(Daniel “Roderick” Death)